Rev. Dr. Milan Lach, SJ
Ioannikyj Bazylovych is one of the most illustrious Basilians in the history of the Mukachevo Eparchy. In addition to his ministry as protoihumen of seven monasteries, which spanned a course of thirty-two years, his few works —which have come down to us— are considered to be jewels of the so-called ‘golden age’ of the Mukachevo Eparchy.
1. Basilian Order in Transcarpathia
Monastic life in Transcarpathia, within the kingdom of Hungary —as in other parts of the Greek-Catholic Church of the Ruthenian tradition— flourished under the Rule of St. Basil the Great. During the life of Ioannikyj Bazylovych (1742-1821), the Basilians were the only monks in the Mukachevo Eparchy. The Order was at its peak and constituted a significant part of the ecclesial life of the Mukachevo Eparchy and, later on, of the Prešov Eparchy.
The reform and unification of all the monasteries in Ukraine and Belarus under the name of the Basilian Order and under the direction of Metropolitan Velyjamin Rutskyj (+1637) and Bishop Josaphat Kuncevych (+1623) manifested itself —in a certain sense— even within the Transcarpathian monastic communities. The most prominent monks of the Mukachevo monastery —engaged in the movement towards Union— maintained close relations with the Kyivan Metropolitanate and probably accepted Rutskyj’s monastic rule. During the same period, the Transcarpathian monks also assumed the name ‘Basilians,’—until the mid-XVII century they were simply called ‘monks.’ During the period of reform under Emperor Joseph II, Bishop Andryj Bachynskyj recommended that Protoihumen Ioannikyj Bazylovych revise the monastic rule which was promulgated in 1777 by the Bishop of Mukachevo.
The so-called ‘golden age’ of monastic life in Mukachevo Eparchy would last more or less until the death of Bazylovych, who served as protoihumen for 32 years, from 1789 to 21 October 1821. He was one of the last great figures during the period of Bishop Bachynskyj between the XVIII and XIX centuries.
Under the guidance of Bazylovych, there were seven monasteries in the Mukachevo eparchy: Mukachevo, Velykyj Bereznyj, Imstichevo in Transcarpathia (Ukraine), Maria-Póč in today’s Hungary, Krásny Brod and Buková Hôrka in today’s Slovakia, and in Bihad in today’s Romania. In total, seventy-eight monks lived in these monasteries during the period of its greatest splendor. The level of monastic life in this period is known to us through the rules, monastic norms and diaries, dating back to the years 1809 to 1812 —a period of time, in which seven monasteries and seventy-five monks existed in the territory.
2. The Life of Ioannikyj Bazylovych
George Bazylovych was born on 6 July 1742 in Hlivištia, a village in the Uzhorod district of East Slovakia, to a family of poor peasants. His parents made every effort to ensure that he was educated in the Jesuit schools of Uzhorod and Košice. After finishing high school and graduating with great success, the young man entered the Basilian monastery in 1761. After the novitiate held in the monastery of Krásny Brod and directed by the prominent hieromonk Innocent Kasper, Bazylovych professed his monastic vows, taking the name of Ioannikyj. Bazylovych was among those Basilian students, who completed their philosophical studies at the monastery in Krásny Brod. These studies were inaugurated in 1762 by Protoihumen Macario Šuhajda OSBM (+1778), who invited the Franciscan friar, Primus Papp, OFM, to teach at the monastery. 
When Bazylovych finished the theological curriculum, he received priestly ordination and soon after was appointed as a professor of theology at the Maria-Póč monastery school. Having demonstrated his pedagogical skills, he was later assigned by his superiors to teach the Basilian students of the same monastery. Initially, he taught philosophy and later also theology.
He did not remain a professor for long. After the death of Protoihumen Sylvester Kovejčák on 1 March 1789, he was elected, at age of forty seven, Basilian Protoihumen within the Mukachevo Eparchy. He held this position for thirty two years.
During that period, Protoihumen Bazylovych was a close collaborator with the Bishop of Mukachevo, Andryj Bachinskyj (1773-1809). This was a ‘golden age’ for the Mukachevo Eparchy and, likewise, for the Transcarpathian Basilians, who were flourishing under Bazylovych’s goverance. It is necessary to place his works concerning ascetical and monastic discipline within this context. As we will see, in his ascetical works, Bazylovych was very demanding of his monks–and not only of them, but also of himself. He was an exemplary monk and strict superior. To lead others to the perfection of monastic asceticism, Bazylovych built St. Nicholas’s Church near the monastery on Chernecha Hora in Mukachevo, during the years of 1798-1804. Shortly before —in the years 1766-1772–, the noble Demetrius Rác donated the necessary funds for the constructing of a monastery on Chernecha Hora. George Ioannikyj Bazylovych, OSBM, died at the age of 79, on 21 October 1821, and his body was buried in St. Nicholas’s Church on Chernecha Hora at Mukachevo.
With the death of Ioannikyj Bazylovych monastic discipline began its decline. At the beginning of the XIXth century, not only a large part of the secular clergy, but also some of the monks, adopted the thoughts and ideals of the Enlightenment, resulting in a consequent decadence of Church life and attenuation of the spiritual life.
3. Historical and Liturgical Works of Bazylovych
Ioannikyj Bazylovych was prolific writer in the fields of history, liturgy and ascetics. Bazylovych demonstrated himself as a historian of the first rank with his work, Brevis notitia fundationis Theodori Koriathovits, published in two volumes, in Košice, between the years 1799-1804. It is the most important work that Ioannikyj Bazylovych left in the field of Transcarpathian history. In this work, he accurately gathered all the documentation concerning the family of the Lithuanian Duke, Theodore Koriatovych, who led the Ruthenian settlers in Transcarpathia in the early XVth century and who —in 1398— was nominated Duke of Mukachevo by King Ludwig.
Bazylovych’s work can be considered a foundation not only for ecclesiastical history, but also for the history of Transcarpathia. For these reasons Bazylovych can be considered the father of the ecclesial history of the Greek-Catholic Church in Transcarpathia and Slovakia.
He agreed with the ideas of Bishop Bachinskyj regarding the need to maintain the Byzantine rite in the Mukachevo Eparchy. With this assumption, Bazylovych decided to write a substantial explanation of the Divine Liturgy in Church-Slavonic and Latin under the title: The Exposition of the Divine Liturgy. Unfortunately, the work is available only in the original manuscript, located at the Mukachevo monastery. In 1963, it was transferred to the Uzhorod University library. The first 32 pages are missing. This is the first, best known and most extensive commentary on the liturgy within the Transcarpathian context, which expresses the extensive theological and liturgical knowledge of our author and, simultaneously, is also a testimony to the liturgical practices of this period.
4. The Ascetical Works of Bazylovych
Ioannikyj Bazylovych was also a prolific writer in the field of monastic spirituality. As a protoihumen, he was particularly attentive to the spiritual life of the monks, whom he wanted to educate as illustrious models of monastic life. Bazylovych was not only a theorist of monastic life: his life, the rules and concrete norms demonstrate what the life of a monk should be.
His first work, which eighty-eight years ago still existed in manuscript form and of which we have no further information— is The Discourse or Teaching to the Brethren on the Monks’ Dignity, on Their Own Objectives and on the Monastic State in General, written in the Church-Slavonic of that period and in the local vernacular. The work is divided into four parts: sheets 1a-8b, containing the ‘Introduction’ and the ‘Treatise on Obedience;’ sheets 8b-11b, the ‘Treatise on Monastic Poverty;’ sheets 12a-15b, the ‘Treatise on Chastity;’ sheets 16a – 18a, ‘Conclusions.’ From the comparison of the texts of this work with the texts of the work Imago vitae monasticae, (which is addressed in the fourth section), it appears that they have a similar content. For this reason, we support the thesis that this work, unknown until now, could have been used by Bazylovych as the basis for the chapters on obedience, poverty and chastity, in the publication of his Latin work Imago vitae monasticae. We do not know when the work [The Discourse] was published, but from the first page we know that it was composed by Bazylovych and was intended for publication.
Of this work only two brief passages remain, in which Bazylovych encourages the monks in their spiritual battle and monastic asceticism not trust in themselves but rather in God’s help. Above all, he advises them to give up the pleasures of n earthly life, because they are the cause of every monk’s failure. He recommends having patience when temptations come and to always be ready to learn from others.
Our interest is in three particular ascetical works. Two are manuscripts: Pravila i ustanovlenija monašeskaja, Ot pravil i ustanovlenii monašeskych; and one, a printed book, Imago vitae monasticae.
4.1 The Monastic Rules and Constitutions – Pravila i ustanovlenija monašeskaja
In the ‘Introduction’ to Rutskyj’s Common Rules, Kinach —who had published them— affirms the need for their modification due to the reform of Emperor Joseph II. Among the monasteries suppressed on account of their exclusively monastic nature —i.e., those which did not have any apostolic activity whatsoever— were some of the Basilian monasteries in the Mukachevo Eparchy. Only seven monasteries remained untouched, because of their educational activity. This is why it was necessary to change the religious rules of the monasteries in the Mukachevo Eparchy.
Bazylovych, as Protoihumen, tried to renew monastic discipline in the aforementioned seven monasteries. Bishop Bachinskyj asked Bazylovych’s predecessor, Protoihumen Sylvester Kovejchák (1769-1778), to augment and actualize Rutsky’s Common Rules. According to Pekar, the first Basilian Monastic Rules and Constitutions were born in the Mukachevo Eparchy and were approved in 1777 by Bishop Bachinskyj. It is our opinion that the Monastic Rules and Constitutions, edited by Ioannikyj Bazylovych, were approved by Bishop Bachinskyj for the first time on 2 July 1796. Afterwards, a variant of the Monastic Rules and Constitutions were confirmed after one year —on 30 July 1797— and this is the manuscript in our possession.
The manuscript is currently found in the Transcarpathian Ethnographical Museum library in Uzhorod, while the place of origin was the Basilian monastery library in Chernecha Hora at Mukachevo, Ukraine. Until the Second World War, this was one of the largest libraries in Transcarpathia. After the expulsion of the monks by the Communists in 1945, the manuscripts and old typescript of the Mukachevo monastery were gradually transferred to the Transcarpathian Ethnographical Museum in Uzhorod. In 1963, other precious manuscripts and old typescript were transferred to the Uzhorod State University’s library. The archive documents of the Mukachevo’s Basilian monastery were transferred to the Transcarpathian State Regional Archive of in Berehovo. Our manuscript, Monastic Rules and Constitutions, was transferred from the Mukachevo monastery to the Transcarpathian Ethnographic Museum in Uzhorod in 1961.
The manuscript is in book form, whose measurements are 225 x 190 mm. The book is bound in a leather cover, which has already been repaired. The text is written in calligraphy, with red and black ink. The manuscript has 17 pages, 2 of which are white. At the start of the book there is filigree. In the coat of arms is a lion sitting on its hind legs, with a crown on his head and with a trumpet held in its front paws. And there is one word: Auschenbach. The pagination is done in pencil, perhaps recently. The initial letters of the first words of paragraphs are written in calligraphy with red ink. The text is written in Cyrillic and is easily legible.
There is no doubt that the author of the Monastic Rules and Constitutions is Ioannikyj Bazylovych, and he managed to summarize very well the rules of St. Basil the Great. He was certainly inspired by Rutskyj’s Common Rules. This is clear in a few sentences from the manuscript, which are almost a parallel. From the ‘Introduction’ of the manuscript, we know that the author is none other than Bazylovych.
The rules are intended for monks of the Order of St. Basil the Great, who lived on the territory of the Mukachevo Eparchy, that is, in the seven monasteries that existed there in this period. The monks were obliged, in conscience, to observe the rules, both from the canonical and spiritual points of view. In the Mukachevo Eparchy, the highest authority for them was the local bishop.
In a more detailed manner, the author specifies that this is an edited and abbreviated anthology of St. Basil the Great’s Monastic Rules and Constitutions. The rules and constitutions are not presented in full because they are far too long. The author presents only those aspects necessary for the daily life of the monks, so they could better remember them.
The work was born ––as is noted in the manuscript— “in the house of the Holy Hierarch of Christ, Nicholas, on Chernecha Hora,” which means in the main Basilian monastery at Mukachevo, dedicated to the holy Bishop St. Nicholas, the Miracle-Worker.
Bazylovych does not write explicitly about the precise date of the Monastic Rules and Constitutions. In the ‘Introduction’ to the manuscript there is the phrase “in the month” and nothing else. But we can say with certainty that the rules were written before 30 July 1797, because on this date the approval of rules was composed by the canonist John Kutka, indicating the date and place. This approval is signed and sealed by Bishop Bachinskyj “30 July 1797 at Uzhorod.” That means that Bazylovych began to compose the rules well before that date and finished them within the terminus of that date.
The work has remained only in manuscript form, in Church-Slavonic and written in Cyrillic letters. This period in Hungary is considered the so-called ‘Latin period.’ Bazylovych decided to not translate his work, leaving it in the original language, since the novices and brothers did not know Latin. During our research, we also found transcripts in Latin, but without any approval. The monks transcribed by hand these Monastic Rules and Constitutions for their own private use.
On the basis of more detailed analysis of this work, we can see that Bazylovych was inspired mainly by Rutskyj’s already-existing Common Rules, but not limited to them. The second –and more important– source for Bazylovych’s Monastic Rules and Constitutions were the Monastic Rules published in two columns –Latin and Church-Slavonic– by the Serbian Orthodox Archbishop, Vincent Ioannikyj Vidak from the city of Karlovci. Even if the year of publication is not recorded on the copy of the Monastic Rules, in the list of the Metropolitans of Karlovci, Vidak’s term is dated 1774-1780. The Monastic Rules were written according to the precepts of Scripture, as it is indicated in its ‘Introduction,’ for vigilance over the entrusted flock and for regular monastic life according to the rules, which were approved by the Metropolitan Vincent along with the other local archbishops and bishops at a local Synod held from 21 September to 30 December 1776.
The structure of the Bazylovych’s Monastic Rules and Constitutions is almost identical to the structure of the Monastic Rules approved in Karlovci. From beginning to end, they were Bazylovych’s main source of material. He had chosen only the parts considered to be most relevant to the Greek-Catholic Church’s condition. For example, some chapters of the “Karlovci Rules” were combined into a single chapter.
Bazylovych’s Monastic Rules and Constitutions consist of the following chapters: Introduction, 1. Obedience, 2. Poverty, 3. Chastity, 4. Prayer and Ecclesial Rule, 5. Reading Books and Study, 6. Refectory, 7. Monastic Garb, 8. The Superior’s Obligations, 9. The Vicar’s Obligations, 10. The Spiritual Father, 11. The Novices, 12. Obligations in Ministry, 13. (12) The Protoihumen’s Obligations.
At the end of the manuscript, there is a letter approving the Monastic Rules and Constitutions, signed and sealed by Mukachevo’s Bishop, Andryj Bachinskyj.
Our primary interest is the central thought of the Bazylovych’s rules, which is found in Chapter 11, “On Novices:”
Finally, the eighth of the Wide Rules on renunciation must be repeated often to them in order that they appropriate Christ’s words: Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me (Matthew 16: 24) and, once again, In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not forsake all his possessions cannot be My disciple (Luke 14: 33). In addition to this: The Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls and finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it (Matthew13: 45-46). The Kingdom of Heaven is clearly symbolized by the most precious pearl, which we cannot find unless we give everything we possess for her: wealth, fame, family, etc.
Bazylovych particularly emphasized the eighth of Wide Rules for the novices, since it contains all that should be considered a priority in the monastic life, referring to self-denial and, especially, to the renunciation of the demon of corporeal lust, love of the world, etc., and the superior should often repeat this to them. He chose the most important Scripture quotes from among those employed by Basil in the eighth rule, and, referring to it, he indicated what should be accentuated in the formation of the Basilian monks and novices. Besides being able to say that this is the essence of the eleventh chapter, “On Novices,” we can also advance the thesis that, while Bazylovych was Protoihumen, this eighth rule was his main thought in the training of monks. According to our observations, this thought was not taken from the Monastic Rules of Karlovci.
4.1.1 The Eighth Rule in St. Basil the Great’s “Wide Rules”
For better understanding of the essence of the Bazylovych’s aim, we will take a look, in more detailed manner, at the eighth rule in St. Basil the Great’s “Wide Rules.”
Responding to the question as to whether it is necessary – upon entering into that kind of life, which is according to God – to renounce everything, Basil affirms that our Lord Jesus Christ says to all: “If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” And later: “In the same way, therefore, every one of you who does not forsake all his own possessions cannot be My disciple.” Basil introduces the words of Jesus as the most valid reason and as the first and most important argument for self-denial and self-abnegation.
Being Christ’s disciple, says Basil, means above all to renounce the devil, the passions of the flesh, blood relations, human friendships, a way of life that is opposed to the integrity of the Gospel of salvation. And, what is even more necessary, is to deny oneself and unclothe oneself of the old man with his deeds.
Later in the eighth rule, Basil asks: How can anyone, for whom the whole world is crucified in Christ and he to the world, be a partaker of worldly cares? Jesus Christ brings, in fact, to the extreme limit a hatred for one’s life, and self-denial, saying: “If anyone wants to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.” And still later: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, and moreover, even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.”
Perfect renunciation, as Basil says, consists in detachment from life itself and the reception of a death sentence, by not trusting in oneself anymore. All this begins to happen, when we become strangers to external things –such as ownership of property, vainglory, human customs, attachment to useless things– as the apostles themselves have shown us, including James and John, who left their father, Zebedee, and the boat that gave them sustenance. The Apostle Paul says: In the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.
4.1.2 Indifference Regarding Earthly Life
In the eighth rule, Basil considers the monk to be one who possesses a strong desire to follow Christ. There is nothing here on earth that binds him to this life, neither parents, nor relatives, as this was against the commandments of the Lord; neither the fear of men, since it is not derived from a true good, nor the mockery of unbelievers, who debase what is good. The monk does not let himself be conquered by their contempt.
If anyone wants to understand with greater clarity Basil continues that the monk’s effort to fervently follow the Lord should be in accord with what the Apostle Paul says of himself for our edification:
But, moreover, I count all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as refuse that I may gain Christ.
From this detailed description of the eighth rule, we can better understand Bazylovych’s strong motivations to vigorously emphasize this particular aspect to the novices. But we can safely say that he did the same for his monks. The eighth rule, according to Bazylovych, creates the foundation of monastic life and gives it its sense and its completion in an integrated manner.
4.2 From the Rules and Monastic Constitutions
In our opinion, the manuscript, From the Monastic Rules and Constitutions, was conceived as a more detailed and additional explanation of some parts of the work of Ioannikyj Bazylovych’s Monastic Rules and Constitutions. Our thesis confirmed even by the title of the manuscript.
We are convinced that the manuscript contains one part that is attributable to Bazylovych, and another, containing a collection of lectures by Arsenio Kocak. It is not a systematic work, nor is it organic. The individual chapters are not logically linked one to another. Some subjects are repeated several times, such as the explanation of the Ten Commandments and the Creed. We suppose that Bazylovych, as protoihumen, had visited diverse monasteries, holding conferences for the monks. In this way, he could have also visited the monastery in Krasny Brod, where he delivered some lectures to the novices. Arsenio Kocak, as master of novices, would have been able to copy them out. We do not have to look long and far as to why the written work had such a content. The answer is found in the eighth chapter of the Monastic Rules and Constitutions, intended for the superiors of monasteries, where the author, Protoihumen Ioannikyj Bazylovych, writes:
The superior is obliged to discuss often with the brethren monastic vows, the vanity of this world, future life, the narrow and toilsome road that leads to eternal life, the beatitudes, death, judgment, hell, the Kingdom of Heaven, etc. He must always watch their souls as a father. Would a father, who has seen his son fall or has fallen into a pit, leave him there? Such a superior would be worse than a beast, if he neglected a child, who is in such trouble. He would deserve death, if he let a soul fall into the abyss of Hell. The superior, for the salvation of his brethren, must be guided by the words: We desire to share with you not only the Gospel of God, but also our own lives. Thus, do not overlook and do not hesitate to proclaim God’s will, because you will be judged as a murderer (as has been said above); and, in another point, it is written: Large and great is the disaster approaching the superior, when he buries the talent for teaching of the word and does not proclaim it, which is the weapon that should be employed against sin, in other words, how evil could be avoided.
Bazylovych attached great importance to regular conferences held by the superior for the brethren. For the superior, it is his primary means of forming a monastic or religious spirit. In general, we can opine that the conception of our manuscript, From the Monastic Rules and Constitutions, was a concrete implementation of the Monastic Rules and Constitutions by the superior. We are also able to note that the themes of the work were not chosen randomly. If the content of the previous chapter on Monastic Rules and Constitutions is observed with greater attention—which the monks were obliged in conscience to follow—we discover that it is almost the same as From the Monastic Rules and Constitutions.
The second answer – as to the reasoning behind the conception of this manuscript – lies in the eleventh chapter of the Monastic Rules and Constitutions. In our opinion, the manuscript is the master of novices’ response to the Rules and Monastic Constitutions and is his own manner of adapting better to the requirements of the task entrusted to him. Let us recall, what the master of the novices was required to explain:
Even after passing all examinations sufficiently, he will persevere in his vocation, only if he has been inserted into the choir of novices and clothed in monastic garb. The novice will be guided in a spiritual asceticism by an experienced superior, who has the obligation to teach carefully the monastic rules of St. Basil the Great and explain the significance of poverty, obedience, chastity and other such matters. The master will teach with zeal and through spiritual discourses how these things are to be observed, demonstrating to the novice the narrow road that leads to eternal life, and the radical nature of monastic life. He will teach him all the virtues and encourage him through difficulties and asceticism. He will guide him in reading, in singing the divine office and in prayer; teach him writing, arithmetic and other basic subjects. The novice must also be taught etiquette, how to serve at the table, eating, sitting, speaking, knowing to whom and how to express respect, etc.
We see here a direct link between the From the Monastic Rules and Constitutions and the Monastic Rules and Constitutions.
The author seems quite familiar with Western contemporary literature of a theological and ascetical nature. In the manuscript, various authors are cited, but often we do not know who they are, because only the pages of the works are given, without indicating the books from which they are taken. Since the author has not specified his sources, the work loses its value. The author also knew well the works of the Greek Church Fathers, such as Basil the Great, John Chrysostom and even John Climacus.
He explicitly mentions some works, while regarding others we can only make assumptions about their influence. For example, on page 54, he refers to the rules of Basil the Great. In another moment, the author draws inspiration from Arsenio Kocak’s Ascetical Prologue, without citing the book. This is the part from page 24 to page 27 of our manuscript, which inserts pages 205 to 393 of the work cited above.
At that time, one of the most famous ascetical works was Alfonso Rodriguez’s The Exercise of Perfection. Although, in our manuscript there are no direct quotations from this work, there are, nevertheless, implicit ones. In our opinion, at that time, Rodriguez was one of the most read ascetical authors. His influence is present in the author of the manuscript.
The author repeatedly does a detailed analysis of the Ten Commandments. This could be due to the importance that the author gave to the Commandments for the training of novices or that these discourses flow from diverse authors.
In our opinion, Bazylovych’s conferences in the manuscript – as recorded by Arsenio Kocak – are found, dating back to the period when he resided in the monastery of Krásny Brod. Bazylovych placed significant emphasis on the spiritual life and the observance of Divine Commandments, as well as on the link between the Christian and monastic vocation. He demands that the monk, before becoming a true monk, should first become a good Christian. And this is why, in our opinion, he had analyzed in such detail the Ten Commandments and the articles of the Creed for the Basilian novices or seminarians.
The author offers the Basilian novices a rich theological and spiritual content, which they are acquainted with in the early years of their monastic life. If we assume that the master of novices has communicated the entire work, we may safely say that the Basilian candidates, at that time, were very well prepared in terms of theoretical knowledge for the monastic life.
In the manuscript, we see concretely how the author simultaneously employed two languages: Latin, written in Latin letters, and Church-Slavonic, written in Cyrillic. In our opinion, this is particular to the territory of the Mukachevo Eparchy. Bazylovych does the same in his work Explicatio. Based on this fact, we can say that the territory of the Mukachevo Eparchy was historically a cultural and linguistic border, as well as a border between Eastern and Western Christianity.
Based on the examples given, it is interesting to note another theological frontier; i.e., the author, in his theological formulations, moves along the border between Eastern and Western Christianity. It is clear, in fact, that the author is Catholic, as evidenced by his Thomistic theological expressions, but he also draws from the most authentic sources of Eastern monasticism such as the rules of S. Basil the Great. He develops monastic spirituality from the sacrament of Baptism and considers the monastic life as a more radical type of Christianity. The author, therefore, is grounded in the Eastern monastic tradition which he researches as a Catholic, through its contact with Western Christianity. In this, we see the originality of the author.
4.3 Imago vitae monasticae
The last ascetical work of Ioannikyj Bazylovych, to which we turn our attention, is his Imago vitae monasticae – An Icon of the Monastic Life. We can say that this is Bazylovych’s masterpiece in the field of ascetical works. This is clear by the simple fact that it was his only published work. It has 182 pages and was printed in Košice in 1802. The author, realizing that it would be very difficult to print in Ruthenian language, decided to write a systematic work on the ascetical life for the monks in Latin.
But the work did not have much success in Latin, among the monks themselves, who were unequipped to translate it and, for this reason, it remained unknown. It was edited as a scientific work, based on a bibliography pertinent for the spiritual life of the monks and founded on texts from the Church Fathers and the masters of the spiritual life.
From a reading of the text, it is obvious that the author did not intend to invent a new science of the monastic life, but rather he wanted to remain faithful to Church tradition, Scripture, the Fathers of the Church and the Ecumenical Councils. There are few original thoughts from the author. The work is a selection or synthesis of the Fathers’ thoughts. Bazylovych often mentions them, using the typical methodology of the Eastern Fathers.
The main sources for its composition are:
a) The Greek and Latin Church Fathers and the lives of the saints
b) The ecumenical councils and local synods
c) Non-Christian and late Christian authors
The author demonstrates his familiarity with the Latin and Greek Fathers of the Church. The majority of citations, especially of the Greek Fathers, are mentioned almost in every chapter. This is done in two ways: by direct quotation of entire passages of patristic texts or by allusions to their works.
The author cites over forty Church Fathers and eleven lives of the saints, probably referring to some source or collection.
The author, a Basilian monk, usually begins each chapter of the work with a thought from Basil, subsequently developing the theme of this thought from the other Fathers. There are references to Basil’s Asceticon, to the Monastic Institutions, the Epistles, the Brief Rule, the Wide Rule, but also to his work On the Holy Spirit and the end of the book contains the entire Homily on Fasting.
In the same quantity the author cites: Cassian’s Institutions of Coenobites and Remedies Against the Eight Deadly Sins; Gregory of Nazianzen’s Orations and Letters; Efrem of Syria’s Paraenesis; Jerome’s Epistles. A little less frequently, he refers to Augustine and to Gregory of Nyssa, Benedict’s Rule, John Climacus’s Ladder of Paradise and to Ruffinus.
The work, containing no introduction or conclusion, is composed of four parts: a brief history of Eastern monasticism, the practice of the monastic vows and purity of conscience, the practical basis of daily monastic life and the life of Saint Basil, the founder of coenobitic life. The appendix contains Basil the Great’s homily on fasting.
What is particular in Bazylovych’s Imago vitae monasticae is his methodology. It is the typical methodology of the Eastern Fathers, consisting in constant references to Sacred Scripture and the Church Fathers, who are cited 49 times. This methodology stresses humility and, at the same time, the writer’s preparation. In fact, there are numerous references to the works of the Greek and Latin Fathers and to the canons of various local and ecumenical councils. We can only vaguely imagine the effort made by the author over two hundred years ago, when there still did not exist a complete edition of the Church Fathers such as is available today. From the context and notes, we can assume with good reason his use of the Latin edition of Baronius, even though there are frequent quotations from the Greek Fathers.
Bazylovych’s main point of interest is made evident in the frequency of his citations from the Fathers. He quotes, first of all, Basil the Great, because Bazylovych himself belonged to the Basilian Order and intended to stress the importance of Basil’s person and work. The fact that almost every topic begins with citation from Basil is a clear indication, in my view, that to understand the essence of coenobitic monastic life, it is necessary to return to Basil the Great’s original idea of monasticism. Bazylovych’s personal thoughts are rarely found in his work.
After evaluating Bazylovych’s work, one cannot say with certainty that it was addressed to the Basilian monks of the Transcarpathian monasteries. Few of them actually knew enough Latin. Moreover, printing a book for a few monks would have been an extremely expensive undertaking at the time. It was their custom to transcribe manuscripts in Old Slavonic with Cyrillic script for private use. Bazylovych was sure that his work Imago vitae monasticae, written according to Eastern tradition, would have been preserved only if compiled and printed in Latin.
In our opinion, this work was addressed to the secular Greek-Catholic clergy, who already knew Latin, and Latin clergy and religious as a defense of Eastern monasticism. It could have also been meant to underline to the emperor’s court to that in addition to monks of the Latin tradition there are also those of the Eastern tradition. Bazylovych perhaps felt the need to explain the different nature and spirituality of the Eastern monks. We should not forget that in this period collections of the Greek Fathers were already published in Latin. Bazylovych used not the Greek Fathers as a source, but also the Latin ones and the Catholic councils that occurred after the schism, to show that the Church’s patrimony, represented by monasticism, was held in common.
In the last chapter, the necessity of monasticism is described by Bazylovych in relation to the biography of St. Basil the Great. There are many examples, taken from history and demonstrated by the author, in which the monks support the Orthodox faith.
The Fathers of the Church, along with Scripture, belong to the tradition of the Church. The very term ‘Church Father’ stresses the importance of the paternal figure: the bishop as an authentic witness and guarantor of true faith. He is the reliable teacher of the faith, to which we can appeal in cases of doubt. As Joseph of Volokolamsk writes, the works of the Church Fathers are often compared to the value of Sacred Scripture.
Finally we can also surmise that Bazylovych had followed the Basilian tradition according to the spirit of Theodor Studite; namely, a return to the Church Fathers for the renewal of spiritual life. Indeed, Bazylovych’s work does not differentiate between the spiritual father and the superior. In his mind, they are one and the same person. When he speaks only of the superior, it is clearly understood in accordance with the doctrine of Theodore Studite.
Bazylovych hoped that the Byzantine monks would become true Christians through the realization of the inner content of Basil the Great’s eighth of the Wide Rules. In this rule, Bazylovych sees everything that a monk should do. The course of the eighth rule is present in all Bazylovych’s works, even when he explains in detail the monastic vows as the monk’s practical response to the invitation for self-renunciation in poverty, chastity and obedience. In all of Bazylovych’s works, it is evident how he urged the superiors to hold regular catechesis for their monks, through which they could constantly be trained in the zeal of monastic life.
We agree with Tichý when he states that even if we do not have a precise date for the composition of The Discourse to the Brethren, we do know that The Monastic Rules and Constitutions date back to 1797 and Imago vitae monasticae to 1802 – and that all three writings have a common timeline. After examining the manuscript, From Monastic Rules and Constitutions of 12 June 1796, he adds that this text also clearly falls within the chronological timeline of the Bazylovych’s ascetical works.
The main purpose is to show the great influence that Ioannikyj Bazylovych had on Basilian monks in their striving to become true Eastern monks. It is necessary to remember that during the period of his mandate as Protoihumen, the number of monks was at its highest in the Mukachevo Eparchy.
For this reason, we perceive his work as special and original. We take this opportunity to confirm that Ioannikyj Bazylovych, besides his collaborator Arsenio Kocak, was the only author in that period on the territory of Mukachevo Eparchy, who had such interest in the works of the Greek Fathers, with the Imago vitae monasticae as its fruit.
At the beginning of this book Bazylovych placed an image of the perfect Basilian novice on the cross. With this he wanted to summarize visually, as an icon, the entire message of the eighth of the Wide Rules. In Dionysius of Phurna’s manual of iconography, there is a description of a similar image. It is logical, therefore, that Bazylovych put this image at the beginning of his only published ascetical work. In our opinion, this was because he wanted it to be related to his Monastic Rules and Constitutions, which repeats that novices have to know the eighth rule—ie, that the world is crucified to the Christian and the Christian to the world– accurately and well. In all three works, in different ways, he emphasizes the same aspect of the renunciation of the devil and the pleasures of the flesh, while expressing one’s personal willingness follow Jesus Christ totally.
We believe that the Basilovych’s ascetical works are of great importance today for the Greek-Catholic Churches. It is appropriate to continue the study of works hitherto unknown, local ascetical sources, such as the works of Arsenio Kocak, for the proper restoration of the Greek-Catholics’ identity in Slovakia and in Transcarpathian Ukraine. In this way, it is possible to become familiar with the most genuine and authentic roots of the Eastern Church in their theological, liturgical and spiritual richness. Even today, the Greek-Catholic Church, after years under Communism, is still re-establishing its ecclesial life. Today, we talk of returning one’s roots. Among the clergy queries relative to the past persist. Thus, these historical ‘common roots’ better represent the real unity of all Eastern Christians.
 Cfr. A. Pekar, «Василіянскa провінція» [The Basilian Province], 132.
 Ibid., 135.
 Ibid., 160.
 Cfr. J. BaziloviČ, Brevis Notitia, 15.
 ŠAZO, F 64, op. 1, 1192, F 64, op. 2, 10, F 64, op. 2, 75, F 64, op. 2, 1106, F 64, op. 2, 1107, F 64, op. 2, 1108, F 64, op. 5, 256.
 Cfr. О. Baran, Єпископ Андрєй Бачинський [Bishop Andryj Bachinskyj], 61.
 This village is located in the Sobrance district of Eastern Slovakia.
 Cfr. К. Zaklyns’kyj, «Нарис історії» [Essay of the History], 53.
 Cfr. J. BaziloviČ, Brevis Notitia, 96.
 Cfr. «Поминайте наставники ваша» [Remember your superiors], 74
 The body of Ioannikyj Bazylovych was buried in the cript of the Church of St. Nicholas. In our research, we have discovered that due to a land shift the church was sliding towards the Latorica River. The part of the cript, where the remains of Bazylovych and Anatolio Kralicky rested, was covered in cement in order to stabalize the church’s foundation. Thus, there is no access to their tombs.
 Cfr. A. Pekar, «Василіянскa провінція» [The Basilian Province], 136.
 Cfr. F. Tychy, «Іоанникий Базилович» [Ioannikyj Bazylovych], 48.
 Cfr. A. Pekar, «Протоігумен Йоанникій Ю. Базилович» [Protoihumen Ioannikyj Bazylovych], 116.
 The complete title of the work reads: Tolkovanije Svjaščennyja Liturgii, Novaho Zakona istinnija Bezkrovnija Žertvy, vo slavu Presvjataja i Nerazdiľnyja Trojci, Otca i Syna, i Svjatoho Ducha, zdatelem Čestnym Otcem Joannikijem Bazilovičom, ČSVV, Protoihumenom, vo lito 1815 sočinennoje, vo Monastire Mukačevskom.
 This work of Bazylovych —upon which several authors have laboured— will be published on 11 November 2009 in a critical edition for the Slovak Accademy of the Sciences at the John Stanislav Institute of Slavic Studies in Bratislava. It will be a significant contribution in the knowledge of the life and works of Ioannikyj Bazylovych.
 Cfr. A. Pekar, «Протоігумен Йоанникій Ю. Базилович» [Protoihumen Ioannikyj Bazylovych], 116.
 We have not been able to find this work of Bazylovych. It is possible that it is in a private collection of ancient manuscripts in Transcaraphia. After the destruction of the Chernecha Hora monastery in Mukachevo in 1945 —according to the testimony of the Orthodox Protoihumen Pronin— state officials were not diligent in taking inventory of all the books and documents. As a consequence, some disappeared, probably sold at a high price.
 Besyda ili slovw ko bratºi Wtcemq Ðwanikiemq Bazilovièemq glagolqnoe, w dostoinsvh Ðnokovq w sopstvennomq konci thxôde i wbòw w èinh Monašeskomq. The work was bound in leather, entitled in stenographic type and contains 18 folios. The intial folio is missing. Cfr. F. Tychij, «Іоанникий Базилович» [Ioannikyj Bazylovych], 43.
 Tychy compares the first paragraph of the second part of The Discourse with the text of Imago vitae monasticae, 58. Cfr. F. Tychy, «Іоанникий Базилович» [Ioannikyj Bazylovych], 43.
 Cfr. H. Kinach, «В. Рутсъкого правила», [The Rules of V. Ruts’kyj] 57.
 Concerning this event see paragraph 1.2.3. Le riforme ecclesiastiche, in the first chapter.
 Pravila i Ustanovlenðä monašeskaä. Cfr. A. Pekar, «Протоігумен Йоанникій Ю. Базилович» [Protoihumen Ioannikyj Bazylovych], 108.
 Pekar appeals to Mikitas, who introduces them under number 463 D Правила монашеские from the XVIII century, printed in Church Slavonic and Latin, in two columns, without an initial page. If Pekar holds that these are indeed the monastic rules approved by Bishop Bachinsky in 1777 solely because the first page is autographed ‘Andreas Eppus Munkaciensis 1778,’ we think that he is mistaken. It is possible that Bachinsky had approved the monastic rules in 1778, but they are not preserved. The exemplar of Mikitas refered to by Pekar are not the monastic rules approved by Bachinsky. In fact, on the title page of the monastic rules under that number [463 D] in the archives are explicitly introduced the monastic rules of the non-uniate Greeks from Illyrica, approved by the Orthodox Archbishop Vincent, Metropolitan of Karovac and all Hungary. Pekar could not have known this, since he never consulted them, inasmuch as he himself admits that he never had the opportunity. A second proof is that these monastic rules were already in print, while The Monastic Rules and Constitutions of Bazylovych —of which we are speaking and which Pekar speaks of as secondary additions to the first— were written by hand, as we were able to establish in our research in Ukraine. The library of the Uzhorod State University presents these monastic rules of the non-uniates in Hungary under number 1583. Cfr. Правила монашеские, n 1583, UŠUK, 10+113 pp. Cfr. V. L. Mikitas, Давні рукописи і стародруки [Ancient manuscipts and typescripts], II, 66.
 In his article, Tichy presents in Church Slavonic the date of approval as v0. ¢ulºa aöèù. 2 July 1796. Immediately after, however, in parenthesis, with Roman numerals is written 1797. We do not know if this is intentional or simply an error. We have not had the opportunity to personally consult the manuscript. Thus, we are not able to confirm or negate Tichy’s thesis. F. Tychy, «Іоанникий Базилович» [Ioannikyj Bazylovych], 45.
 Ð. Bazilovièq, Pravila i Ustanovlenðä monašeskaä, Ms. 39. (Arch. 796), ZEM, Užgorod.
 The manuscript is catalogued under number: Ms. 39. (Arch. 796), according the cataloguing of the Transcarpathian Ethnographical Museum. Under the same munber is a list and catalogue of manuscipts and old typescripts published in Lviv in 1946 by V. L. Mikitas. Cfr. V. L. Mikitas, Давні книги закарпатського музєю (Ancient books of the Transcarpathian Museum), 40.
 Cfr. V. L. Mikitas,Давні рукописи і стародруки [Ancient manuscipts and typescripts], II, 8.
 Cfr. V. L. Mikitas, Давні книги закарпатського музєю (Ancient books of the Transcarpathian Museum), 40.
 Cfr. V. L. Mikitas,Давні рукописи і стародруки [Ancient manuscipts and typescripts], II, 3.
 The archival documents of the Mukachevo monastery are deposited in fund 64, which contains 5 catalogue-lists of archival material. There are couple of thousand documents.
 Cfr. V. L. Mikitas, Давні книги закарпатського музєю (Ancient books of the Transcarpathian Museum), 40.
 It could be the name of the paper-maker or book-binder. Cfr. V. L. Mikitas, Давні книги закарпатського державного краєзнавчого музєю (Ancient books of the Transcarpathian State Folklore Museum), 40.
 The word Inokq,‘other’ or ‘different is a synonym in Church Slavonic for the term monk. The meaning of the name is derived from the fact the monk ought to live in a manner diverse from the laity. Inoèestvuúòij is he, who lives a monastic life. Cfr. P. Аleks’yj, Церковный словарь (Church Slavonic Dictionary), II, 102.
 Cfr. Basilius Magnus, Asceticon magnum sive Questiones [Regulae fusius tractatae et Regulae breuius tractate = recensio Vulgata compilata s. VI], PG 31, 901-1305, Asceticon paruum, PL 103,483-554, Constitutiones monasticae, PG 31, 1321-1428 a Regulae morales, PG 31, 691-869.
 Vo St0o w¡diteli ¢erarxa Xrt4ova Nikolaä, na Gorh Èernekq Mc4ä. Cfr. Ð. Bazilovièq, Pravila i Ustanovlenðä monašeskaä.
 V ¹ngvarq l0. ¢ulða aöèz0. Cfr. Ð. Bazilovièq, Pravila i Ustanovlenðä monašeskaä, 33.
 A copy of this rule of 1796 is found in the library of the University of Debrecen in Hungary under the catalogue number Ms. 106-1, transferred from the monastery of Maria-Póč. Cfr. A. Pekar, «Протоігумен Йоанникій Ю. Базилович» [Protoihumen Ioannikyj Bazylovych], 108.
 Cfr. V. J. Vidák, Правиламонашеские, n.1583, UŠUK, 10+113 pp., V. L. Mikitas,Давні рукописи і стародруки [Ancient manuscipts and typescripts], II, 66. Also Mansi mentions this monastic rule in two languages. Cfr. V. J. Vidák, «Regulae monasticae a duabus Synodis annorum 1773 et 1776 perscriptae et editae 1776», 575-666.
 Born in Karlovci, on 10 March 1730. He was ordained a deacon on 23 May 1745. He was nominated an archdeacon 12 April 1753. He became —after his priestly ordination— vicar general and archimandrite. He received his monastic tonsure from Paul Nenadovic. He was nominated adminstrator of the Pakrac Eparchy on 26 December 1757. On the feast of St. Saba in 1759, he was consecrated Bishop of Temešvár. On 30 May 1774, he was unanimously elected by the Synod Metropolitan of Karlovci. Metropolitan Vincent died at Dalu on 18 February 1780 and was buried in the Church of St. Demetrius. Cfr. S. Vukovych, Српски jерарси (Serbian Hierarchy), 73–74.
 Another name for the city is Sremsky Karlovci. It was in Hungary, today it is found in Serbia, since the First World War. From 1713 to 1920, Karlovci was the metropolitan see of the Serbian Orthodox Church, since its inception. The title of Metropolitan of Karlovci is still used by the Patriarch of Serbia. Z. Gavrilović, «Serbian Christianity», 442-446.
 Written in the margins is only the words: «Andreas Eppus Munkacsiensis 1778». Cfr. V. J. Vidák, Pravila monašeskaä, (1).
 Cfr. S. Vukovych, Српски jерарси (Serbian Hierarchy), 73.
 Cfr. V. J. Vidák, Pravila monašeskaä, (9).
 Cfr. J. D. Mansi, Sacrorum conciliorum, XXXIX, 575.
 It is the copy with the title Pravila i Ustanovlenðä monašeskaä, deposited in the Transcarpathian Ethnographical Museum at Uzhorod, catalogued under the number Ms. 39 (Arch. 796).
 We do not know why in Chapter 12 of the rules, although only in the assignment of the chapter number, Bazilovych indicates in these, one after the other, a different content: obligations of ministry and obligations of the Protoihumen. Perhaps this is an oversight.
 Ð. Bazilovièq, Pravila i Ustanovlenðä monašeskaä, 28-29.
 Cfr. Basilius Magnus, Regulae fusius tractatae 8, PG 31, 934-942.
 Mt 16,24.
 Lk 14,33.
 Cfr. Basilius Magnus, Regulae fusius tractatae 8, PG 31, 935 A. The renunciation of oneself is the most important and, simultaneously, the most difficult of all things. As St. Basil wrote to Gregory of Nanzianzus: “I left the city and all its activities as the cause of many miseries, but I have not been able to renounce myself.” Cfr. Basilius Magnus, Epistolarum classis I 2, PG 32, 223. Thus, ‘hatred of oneself’ is proposed as the last step of self-denial. Basil, in this particular council, together with the observation of the commandments, suggests a certain order, which can not be observed without the condition of renouncing certain things. The basic stages in this path of renunciation is: above all, the devil; attachment to this world; and, ultimately, ourselves; at the end, the victory is over the attachment to life itself. Cfr. U. Neri, Opere ascetiche di Basilio di Cesarea, 247.
 Cfr. Gal 6,14.
 Mt 16,24.
 Lk 14,26. Lc 14,26. Here Basil makes an important step. It would not make sense to leave all, if not because of following Christ: renouncing oneself is the means of removing obstacles to one’s apostolate and acquiring the freedom which makes one able to proceed along the path towards God. Cfr. U. Neri, Opere ascetiche di Basilio di Cesarea, 248.
 Cfr. Basilius Magnus, Regulae fusius tractatae 8, PG 31, 935 C. Here begins the effort as an easier exercise, from the lowest stage, which is perfected only when we are obedient to Christ. This is achieved in practice and in truth through daily living, until death; taking up our cross means being ready to die for Christ, without any attachment to this life. Cfr. U. Neri, Opere ascetiche di Basilio di Cesarea, 248
 Cfr. Gal 6,14.
 Cfr. Basilius Magnus, Regulae fusius tractatae 8, PG 31, 938 A. The spiritual teaching of Basil is felt so intensely. It often focuses on the momentum necessary for zealous, perfect obedience and discipleship in the likeness of Christ. For to love God means to force one’s soul beyond its strength to do the will of God in the search and fervor of His glory. Cfr. U. Neri, Opere ascetiche di Basilio di Cesarea, 249.
 Phil 3,4-8.
 Ð. Bazilovièq – A. Kocakq, Ï pravilq i Ustanovlenðj monašeskixq, Krasnyj Brodq 1796. Ms. n. 1, UŠUK
 In the years 1789 and 1795, Arsenij Kocak is named as a spiritual assistant in the chronicles of the monastery of Krásny Brod. In 1798, he does not appear again. It is most probable that he was also the master of novices. For more information, see footnote 159 of Chapter I. Cfr. V. Timkovič, Letopis Krásnobrodského monastiera, 119.
 1Thess. 2,8.
 Ð. Bazilovièq, Pravila i Ustanovlenðä monašeskaä, 20-22
 Ð. Bazilovièq, Pravila i Ustanovlenðä monašeskaä, 33.
 The word inoèeski is translated as monastic. There is does not exist in most modern languages an exact translation. It means he, who lives in a manner diverse from the laity in the world.
 Ð. Bazilovièq, Pravila i Ustanovlenðä monašeskaä, 27-28. Cfr. V. J. Vidák, Pravila monašeskaä, 3
 Cfr. Ð. Bazilovièq – A. Kocakq, Ï pravilq i Ustanovlenðj monašeskixq, 54
 It is a well-conserved manuscript found in the Uzhorod State University library. A., Kocakq, Prologq duxovnyi asketièeskºi, Bukovce 1797, Ms 351 Д, UŠUK, Užgorod.
 We give as an example the attainment of Christian. A theme treated by the author of the manuscript. Cfr. Ð. Bazilovièq – A. Kocakq, Ï pravilq i Ustanovlenðj monašeskixq, 44. A. Rodriguez, Esercizio di perfezione, 13-24.
 I maintain that Bazylovych wanted to explain to the Latin world that the Basilian monks represented a single entity within the Greek-Catholic Church.
 Bazylovych cites St Basil the Great in Imago vitae monasticae 112 times.
 H. Drobner, Patrologia, 48.
 T. ŠpidlÍK, Manuel sistematique, 6.
 Cfr. F. Tychy, «Іоанникий Базилович» [Ioannikyj Bazylovych], 45.
 T. Špidlík – M. Tenace – R. Čemus, Questions monastiques en Orient, 156.